Firms received £244m despite pledge to stop grants
The Welsh Labour Government has issued a combined £244 million in non-repayable grants since 2010 – despite promising to stop issuing handouts.
At that point, Labour Ministers had issued a decree that future funding would need to be repaid, ending non-repayable grants.
However, only a quarter of awards made since 2010 were given with repayment requirements, and just 2% of the money has been repaid.
The homepage of the Welsh Government’s website continues to promote the policy. A document on the site says that all funding for businesses will have to be repaid as they set out to achieve an “investment culture”.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Economy Minister, Russell George, said the policy was a “shambles”, highlighting the confusion and inconsistency at the heart of the department.
“This was the wrong policy because the Welsh Government needs to adopt a flexible approach to business support.
“But by its own measure this Labour commitment has been an abject failure, and this shambles highlights the confusion at the heart of the Economy Department.
“The Cabinet Secretary has been in charge for some time now and in some respects the department feels like a listless ship.
“For businesses visiting the Welsh Government’s website the picture is unclear.
“On the one hand they’re being told that the government no longer provides grants – but that patently isn’t the case, and hasn’t been for the last six years.”